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Transformational Change

The climate crisis requires urgent action to avoid further negative impacts on our planet and society. A gradual change is not sufficient to cope with the current crisis. What is needed is a transformational change. 

Transformational change is a catalytic change in systems and behaviours resulting from disruptive climate actions that enable actors to shift to carbon-neutral pathways.

The Mitigation Action Facility supports transformational change characterised by strengthening national capacities in line with the Paris Agreement and countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions.

Transformational change goes beyond individual projects or interventions and requires:

  • Built-in incremental processes to ensure that learning from both successes and failures is taken into account and that changes are implemented accordingly; and
  • Mechanisms that trigger a self-reinforcing dynamic and prevent reversal.
© Mirco Lomoth


A funded project’s potential for transformational change must be defined by the Applicant and is assessed at the Concept, Outline and the Proposal phases to determine overall ambition of the project.

Certain factors are relevant to reaching transformational change so that partner countries can move towards a carbon-neutral pathway in priority sectors of energy, transport and industry. They include: the project’s potential to have a demonstration effect, promote learning, achieve a catalytic effect by ensuring replicability, scalability, and the sustainability of the intervention.

As part of the Evaluation and Learning Exercises (ELEs), the Transformational Change Measurement Framework has been defined to facilitate the evaluation of the project-induced transformational change. It is based on the Mitigation Action Facility working definition of transformational change and the Theory of Change (ToC). The framework provides guidance to the ELE teams on how to characterise the elements and evidence of transformational change. Since the overall potential for transformational change depends on the combination of various factors over time, the framework follows a qualitative evaluation approach.